Another live blog night: You all know the drill by now when I do a live blog like I will for tonight’s game. I’ll add some notes, stats and comments here during the game, so come back often and hit refresh for the latest.
I hope you will add your own questions and comments often tonight and keep it going through the whole game. So start adding some thoughts and questions about the O’s, this series, tonight’s pitchers, the minor leagues, the trading deadline and/or anything else on your mind.
Gonzo and the DP ball: Former Oriole Mike Gonzalez found his way back to the Camden Yards mound tonight in a key moment in the last of the seventh. The Orioles had two on and one out, down 3-1. Gonzalez got pinch-hitter Ronny Paulino to hit into a line drive double play to shortstop Ian Desmond to end the frame and preserve Washington’s two-run lead.
Adam Jones led off the inning with a solo homer to end a nine-game homer and RBI drought for the O’s center fielder.
The Orioles are now coming up to bat in the last of the eighth against Sean Burnett down 3-1.
Turnstile note: Tonight’s attendance is 46,298, and it’s the fifth sellout of the year. If the crowd sounds more subdued tonight, it’s probably because they have not had much to cheer about with the Orioles being one-hit through six innings.
By the way, the last five weekend O’s home games have all attracted crowds of 40,000 or more, and the average attendance is 44,905 for those five games with the Phillies and Nats.
Updating a stat, not a good one: After leaving the bases loaded in the last of the fifth tonight, the Orioles now have just one hit in their last 26 at-bats with runners in scoring position. They went 0-for-17 in the last four games of the road trip and 1-for-7 last night. They didn’t have any baserunners tonight until the chance they could not cash in on in the last of the fifth. The Nats still lead here, 3-0.
O’s without a hit through four: Nats starter Edwin Jackson has retired the first 12 batters to face him tonight and has a 3-0 lead through four innings on just 49 pitches. In two outings this year against the Orioles, he has pitched 12 innings, allowing just five hits and one run.
Chris Davis has lined out twice tonight as his hitless run has reached 0-for-26 at the plate, and his average has dropped from .308 to .276.
Bundy brother news: Double-A Bowie pitcher Bobby Bundy was struck by a ball in the left leg and removed from the game tonight at Prince George’s Stadium. Mike Belfiore replaces him on mound with two outs in the fifth inning. He gave up six hits and three runs, two earned. If I get any further word tonight on this injury, I will pass it along.
Meanwhile, his brother, Dylan Bundy, has pitched four shutout innings tonight so far for Single-A Frederick at home against Myrtle Beach. Dylan has allowed two hits with two walks and strikeouts.
Tonight’s pitchers: Wei-Yin Chen, with a 7-2 record and 3.36 ERA, makes his 14th start of the year. He pitched seven scoreless innings Sunday to beat Atlanta, and is 3-0 with an ERA of 2.21 over his last three starts.
The Orioles are 9-4 in Chen’s starts, and he is 4-0 at home with an ERA of 2.72. In his only outing against the Nats on May 20, Chen gave up six earned runs and eight hits over 4 1/3.
It was both his shortest outing of the season and the most runs he has given up. Chen is 2-1 with a 5.09 ERA in three interleague starts.
Edwin Jackson, who is 3-4 with an ERA of 3.02, will make his 14th start tonight as well. He has given up just two earned runs or less in four consecutive starts, going 2-2 with a 2.28 ERA in that time.
Jackson has stepped up his game this year, reducing his WHIP from 1.437 last year to 1.054 now and his hits allowed per every nine innings from 10.1 to 6.9.
He gave up just one run and five hits over eight innings in a no-decision May 18 against the Orioles, and is 5-1 with an ERA of 3.25 in ten career games (eight starts) versus Baltimore.
Both among league leaders: Chen ranks 11th in the AL among ERA leaders, tied for 12th in wins and 20th in WHIP.
Jackson ranks ninth in the NL in ERA and WHIP and seventh in batting average against at .213. Right-handed batters hit just .196 off him.